The Mercedes 170 S (1949 – 1955)
As we speak in 2012 only a few folks have an thought what a Mercedes 170 S is all about. Most of them have by no means even seen one. If requested they may think about it as a part of the fashionable A-Class collection and when confronted with the truth that a 1.7 l powered automotive with a high velocity of 105 km / h (65 mph) was as soon as considered the last word in German luxurious engineering , they’ve comprehensible difficulties to consider that.
So, allow us to dive a bit into the historical past of Mercedes after the conflict and take a look at what made this unusual automotive so particular. Within the late 1940s, when this automotive was launched in Germany, occasions had been very totally different. And never solely in Germany. It was the same scenario throughout Europe. Human sources had been accessible in abundance, however there was an acute scarcity in uncooked supplies, equipment instruments and most of all cash. So most vehicle producers in Europe tried to launch automobiles that had been both already accessible earlier than World Struggle II or had been mildly upgraded to make them take a look at least from the surface considerably extra fashionable. Technically they had been all simply copies of what was already accessible ten years earlier.
The primary Mercedes after the conflict was no totally different. Launched in 1947 the primary “new” Mercedes was known as the 170 V. It was a direct copy of what Daimler-Benz had launched already in 1936. In the direction of the top of the 1940s folks had grown a bit bored with prewar automobiles and needed one thing totally different . However as cash was nonetheless in brief provide, Daimler-Benz used a physique that was barely greater than the one of many 170V, however was additionally similar to automobiles launched earlier than the conflict.
The engine was upgraded from 38 hp to 52 hp and the automotive was launched because the Mercedes 170 S, “S” standing for “tremendous”. Costs began in 1949 at 10,100.-DM ($ 2,400.- at up to date change charges). It meant that only a few might afford the automotive. As a primary within the historical past of Mercedes: a four-cylinder automotive for the wealthy and well-known. Within the US that type of cash purchased you an eight-cylinder Packard. None of 170 V or S automobiles would have discovered a purchaser in North America. But when Daimler-Benz would have made an try and promote the Mercedes 170 S to potential American clients, there would have been no dealership but to shoulder such a process. That got here just a few years later solely.
However a minimum of in Germany the automotive performed its function surprisingly effectively. One of many causes was after all that competitors did have something higher to supply. The Common Motors subsidiary Opel had the distinguished and effectively obtained six-cylinder Kapit, which was priced at across the identical degree. However that was the top of it, no different producer a minimum of in Germany had a automotive that would rival the four-cylinder Mercedes 170 S. In typical Mercedes custom its constructed high quality, its highway holding manners and its picture had been second to none and people three elements had been the very basis on which Daimler-Benz slowly began to re-build its highway to restoration.
The icing on the (image-) cake was the introduction of two elegant convertibles, the two-seater Cabriolet A and the four-seater Cabriolet B. Each cabriolet interiors had been trimmed extra elaborately than the sedan’s. In typical Mercedes vogue, additionally they had a price ticket that made them the costliest German automobiles cash might purchase. Though only a few might afford them, and even when Daimler-Benz was most likely not in a position to earn money with these hand constructed beauties, picture sensible they had been unbeatable.
When manufacturing of the Mercedes 170 S was lastly halted in 1955, the automotive regarded with its 1930s model fenders like an historic pelican in contrast with the extra fashionable ponton limousines, and only a few nonetheless needed to purchase the automotive. However along with its predecessor the 170 V this automotive was within the historical past of Mercedes an instrumental first step within the firm later dominance of the luxurious automotive market.